Posted: Tuesday, August 6th 2013 at 1:35pm
Gilmer, Pickens flood victims won't get federal aid
UNDATED - Homeowners whose houses were damaged in last week's torrential rains learned Monday that they are not eligible to receive aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Apparently, the damage caused by the deluge was not enough to warrant low interest loans from FEMA.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) said 50 homes in Gilmer County sustained damage - 30 of those either severely damaged or destroyed. Just one home in Pickens County was considered severely damaged.
Up to six inches of rain fell across parts of both counties in a matter of hours last Thursday morning, according to GEMA officials.
Right now, those who are cleaning up after the storms are relying on private donations.
Crystal Paulk-Buchanan told the Georgia News Network that a donation center will remain open at Fire Station 1 in East Ellijay in Gilmer County through the end of the week.
"Those donations for survivors are absolutely critical," she said. "The biggest demand right now is for cleaning supplies...bleach, mops, brooms, buckets, trash bags of all sizes."
In addition, Paulk-Buchanan said many of the damaged homes relied on well water for their water supply and that has slowed clean-up efforts.
"Before that water in their wells can even be used to do cleaning or to drink or for cooking the water, the well water, has to be tested to be sure there was no contamination."
The American Red Cross, as well as a number of church groups, have been offering assistance to the flood victims.
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